Thursday, December 31, 2009


I can't believe it! Another year is coming to an end, and it's time to write a recap for 2009. Sadly, I can take what I wrote at the end of 2008, just update the year and the same column would be as accurate for this year as it was for last year. I have a constant theme that flows throughout the 52 columns I write each year. For 2009, the theme was "Pay Attention." And many of you did just that.

One of the biggest benefactors of that theme was President Obama. He has many defenders who have taken to the Internet and airwaves to refute the many unfair attacks against him. From the sick cartoon of a dead monkey shot by two police officers to the "Pray for Obama T-shirt," his defenders have been out there defraying the attacks.

Youth violence continues to be a subject the black community cannot ignore. The brutal murder of Derrion Albert wasn't just "caught on tape;" it was filmed by those I call "spectator participants." The person holding the cellphone camera never attempted to call 911. From the ignorance of those who used planks and boards to kill Derrion to the ones who stood around and watched, the black community has been forced to "pay attention" because we were forced to finally look at what some of our young people are capable of doing.

But Derrion's murder isn't the only crime going on. We still have too many shootings, robberies, and crimes in general being perpetrated by those who can't even buy a drink. I am waiting to see if we can get a black candidate to run for any office on a "law and order" ticket. I went to Cook County Jail this Christmas with Rainbow Push to see the number of jail inmates in there who are African-American, and it wasn't a happy sight. Out of the 600 or so inmates who came to the service, about 100 were women and 90 percent of those were black.

I am very proud when I see all of Chicago finally paying attention to what is going on in this city. Last winter, I watched with a smile as Northsiders got irate when the mayor claimed that shoveling snow from the side streets wasn't in the budget. We also had the entire city up in arms because of the parking meter fiasco. And if we really want to show that we're paying attention, we need to have our state or federal legislators overturn the parking contract because no mayor or city council should have the right to place a 75-year burden that digs into the pockets of city residents. It's outrageous to lease out existing meters, then add additional meters in areas that didn't have a meter before.

Chicagoans also paid attention so much that the IOC saw through the smoke-and-mirror screen and awarded the Olympics to Brazil. No one did a happier dance than I because the Olympics would have been the excuse to eradicate a lot of black neighborhoods.

I won't keep going on and on because I've already done that with the columns I wrote. So as I say goodbye to 2009, I ask each of you to continue to "Pay Attention" to what is going on.

Happy New Year and keep reading this column and supporting this newspaper in 2010!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Celebrate Kwanzaa

'Twas the night before Kwanzaa and all through the land,

The Seven Principles of that week were scheduled to go on as planned.

From the very first day, Umoja, which means Unity,

It's a time for all to come together,

For an event that's always free.

The second day, Kujichagulia, espouses Self-Determination,

It says your future isn't happenstance,

But can be controlled by your education.

The third day, Ujima, stands for Collective Work and Responsibility,

No more "you" or "I" but coming together

To form the combined strength of "we."

The fourth day, Ujama, means Cooperative Economics,

Pool our resources together

And make believers out of cynics.

The fifth day, Nia, tells us we have a Purpose,

To those who work to defeat our goals

Their actions should be called Judas.

The sixth day, Kuumba, celebrates Creativity,

That our talents, gifts and ingenuity

Have never had a set limit or boundary.

The seventh and final day, Imani, is about our Faith,

For we exist in this universe

As a small part of God's estate.

If you have never taken the opportunity to celebrate Kwanzaa, give it a try this year. The seven principles are ones that everybody in the entire world can embrace. Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren will host its 15th Annual Kwanzaa Celebration this year for the entire seven days. This year's event is titled, "Honoring our Elders for Preserving our Cultural Heritage." The event is free and open to the public with plenty of free parking. I'll be there for all seven days so come out and meet me, pick up a copy of my book and celebrate the season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Some good deeds are probably getting punished

I thought I could get through the month of December without doing any heavy-hitting columns. I wanted to keep things "light" because this is the Christmas season. But the reality is that this is a far different holiday season from any in recent memory. This is a season that lacks good tidings and there is very little comfort and joy. But what this seasons seems to have plenty of is the "bah, humbug" dispositions from so many individuals.

Perhaps because this year has been so rough, what is still true for the season is that we can hear the hark. And the hark this year came in the form of Rev. Al Sharpton. He was the keynote speaker at last Saturday's Pre-Kwanzaa Festival sponsored by WVON 1690-AM and held at the UIC forum.

Rev. Sharpton is carried on the station as the midday talk show host. I was skeptical about him, when he first came on the air, because I had been influenced by the media's portrayal of him. But after listening to him for the past couple of years, I, along with a lot of other people, have been converted into supporters. His ability to analyze a situation and hit the nail on the head was even more evident when he spoke before a room filled to capacity. From his never once needing to use a note as he addressed the crowd (for at least 45 minutes) to his "keep it real and call it like he sees it" speech, he brought many in the crowd to their feet more than once.

The crowd was very interesting, too. Because of the university setting, there were more young people in the room than I normally see at such an event. They, too, were applauding and cheering in agreement with Rev. Al - until Sharpton spoke on the subject that hit a little too close to home. When he spoke about why we are the only race to use a notorious pejorative term about ourselves and try to validate it by claiming we do it out of love, the young people in the crowed grew silent. Suddenly, it wasn't funny when they were on the receiving end.

Rev. Al didn't stop with critiquing the young. He got on black Chicagoans for having once had the mayoral seat, only to lose it to the son of the man who did us the most harm. He used a wonderful analogy as it applied to Tiger Woods, reminding us that it's no good to be an airplane if we don't have a place to land and without an airport, our only option is to crash and burn.

Now for a change of subject: I have, over the past couple of weeks, watched the race for Cook County Board president continue to take center stage. As I paid attention to all the shenanigans going on regarding that race, I have concluded one thing. When it comes to Todd Stroger, the old adage that "no good deed goes unpunished" soon came to mind.

Watching how he has been attacked by so many in the media has led me to use what my granny would call "convoluted black folks logic." What do I mean by that? Well if so many in the media, including the Better Government Association, have made it their business to dog out the County Board president, then he must be doing something very right in order to elicit so much criticism.

If so many are upset with what he's doing, then he must be helping black folks; otherwise they wouldn't care. He must be doing something very right and doing a very good deed in order to reap the punishment of criticism he's been getting. Because if you believe Daley is doing badly and no one says a word about him, then it's obvious that Stroger must be doing good in order to generate so much negative press.

And, yes, I know that the half-penny sales tax increase did put many in the collar areas near the border of this county in a catch-22. But is the issue that many have with Stroger really about half a penny or the billions of dollars he controls as part of the Cook County budget?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

There Is Still Much To Be Grateful For

From Thanksgiving Day through Imani (Jan. 1, the last day of Kwanzaa) is the season of giving thanks. And even during this rough - and it is very rough - economic time, there is still plenty to give thanks for.

I am most grateful for just being, as I like to say, "living and breathing." There are so many people who didn't live to see this holiday season. Some died naturally. Too many met their end because of gun, street and/or domestic violence. Still others took their own lives, unable to cope with the pressures this society placed on them (or that they placed on themselves).

I have been blessed with relatively good health. Last Friday I attended the annual Seniors on the Move Christmas party and was pleased to see so many of them in attendance, laughing, dancing and having a good time. To me, there is nothing more inspirational than to see our elders enjoying life. Theirs are the footsteps I want to walk in as I, too, traverse the road to getting old.

I am grateful for my children. They both have turned out to be fine adults. I am especially grateful that my son is beginning to reflect all of the hard work I put into raising him. He has strayed off the right path a few times, but has always veered back onto it. He is also demonstrating that all those lectures I put him through, when he didn't want to listen, did pay off. I highly recommend that parents drive their children to the places they want to go. It's the best time in the world to give them those lectures, plus they can't so easily avoid listening when you're in the car together. As my son recognized that car time was talk time, he began to prefer catching the bus rather than having to listen to me. That didn't hurt my feelings because it caused him to grow up and eliminated me from the role of chauffeur.

I am grateful for this newspaper. I always pick up free community newspapers all over the city and this small paper with limited resources does a fantastic job of keeping this community informed. I am not an employee but rather a freelance journalist for it. However, even I am amazed at how many times this paper puts together so many different sources into a comprehensive and fluid piece of journalism, rivaling what the daily newspapers put out.

I am grateful for the Austin community. I've lived here for 20 years, and this community has some of the best people in the world living and working here. As a community, we still need to do better when it comes to our main thoroughfares. There is still too much littering, especially near the bus stop by Save-A-Lot at North and Central avenues. Our redevelopment of a viable black-owned commercial district is processing slowly but steadily. It is a pleasure to hear that the 5800 block of West Chicago Avenue is still going ahead and working on becoming a stronger commercial hub, with a planned mural celebrating our heritage along with several new businesses that will be relocating there.

I'm grateful to a number of friends who have been my biggest supporters when it comes to my book, Billion Dollar Winner. I recently had the opportunity to present a copy to Rev. Jesse Jackson and got invited to promote the book at Rainbow PUSH. I have also gotten a four-star review on by a professional reviewer for, the largest Web site for African-American literature on the Internet. I have gotten tremendous support for the book from elected officials, including Cong. Danny K. Davis, state Rep. La Shawn Ford and Ald. Ed Smith.

I am especially grateful to Garfield Majors. For the past few months, I've been a guest on his radio show (1450 AM on Sundays, 10 p.m. to Midnight) to talk about any and all issues. Mr. Majors has, for over 20 years, been providing information to our side of town when others have overlooked us. From the current horrific problems at the Juvenile Detention Center to learning last week that the deacons at Greater Whitestone Church, 3819 W. Ogden, changed the locks on the door and locked both the parishioners and pastor out of the church, his show is a vital source of news and information.

If you've never listened and heard Majors, Rev. Bowers and Cong. Davis when they quote scripture as a retort to something the other has said, then you've missed a treat. The three of them are such biblical scholars, they can "play the dozens," using scriptural teachings without having to denigrate themselves or stoop to the low level of behavior that so often characterizes black men. The love, respect and honor they have for each other and the black community represents what we still have.

In addition, if you want to hear some powerful preaching at least once in your life, you have only to listen to Rev. Bowers to be taken back to the time when he was the standard for black preachers, as opposed to some of the jack-legged ministers we have nowadays who impersonate being pastors when they are little more than devils incarnate.

Lastly, I am grateful to you, my readers. Whether it's out in public and you tell me about remembering a column I wrote or you send me an e-mail about one I wrote years ago (I'm still getting e-mails about the red light cameras), you are the reason I write.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Psalm 109: 8-13

8 Let his years be few; let someone else take his position
9 May his children become fatherless, and his wife a widow
10 May his children wander as beggars and be driven from their ruined
11 May creditors seize his entire estate, and strangers take all he has
12 Let no one be kind to him; let no one pity his fatherless children.
13 May all his offspring die. May his family name be blotted out in a
single generation.

King James Version
8Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
9Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
10Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek
their bread also out of their desolate places.
11Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers
spoil his labour.
12Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any
to favour his fatherless children.
13Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let
their name be blotted out.

Monday, December 07, 2009

What Do White People Think About This Article?

In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap
Johnny R. Williams, 30, would appear to be an unlikely person to have to fret about the impact of race on his job search, with companies like JPMorgan Chase and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago on his résumé.

But after graduating from business school last year and not having much success garnering interviews, he decided to retool his résumé, scrubbing it of any details that might tip off his skin color. His membership, for instance, in the African-American business students association? Deleted.

“If they’re going to X me,” Mr. Williams said, “I’d like to at least get in the door first.”

Similarly, Barry Jabbar Sykes, 37, who has a degree in mathematics from Morehouse College, a historically black college in Atlanta, now uses Barry J. Sykes in his continuing search for an information technology position, even though he has gone by Jabbar his whole life.

“Barry sounds like I could be from Ireland,” he said.

That race remains a serious obstacle in the job market for African-Americans, even those with degrees from respected colleges, may seem to some people a jarring contrast to decades of progress by blacks, culminating in President Obama’s election.

But there is ample evidence that racial inequities remain when it comes to employment. Black joblessness has long far outstripped that of whites. And strikingly, the disparity for the first 10 months of this year, as the recession has dragged on, has been even more pronounced for those with college degrees, compared with those without. Education, it seems, does not level the playing field — in fact, it appears to have made it more uneven.

College-educated black men, especially, have struggled relative to their white counterparts in this downturn, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for black male college graduates 25 and older in 2009 has been nearly twice that of white male college graduates — 8.4 percent compared with 4.4 percent.

Various academic studies have confirmed that black job seekers have a harder time than whites. A study published several years ago in The American Economic Review titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” found that applicants with black-sounding names received 50 percent fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

A more recent study, published this year in The Journal of Labor Economics found white, Asian and Hispanic managers tended to hire more whites and fewer blacks than black managers did.

The discrimination is rarely overt, according to interviews with more than two dozen college-educated black job seekers around the country, many of them out of work for months. Instead, those interviewed told subtler stories, referring to surprised looks and offhand comments, interviews that fell apart almost as soon as they began, and the sudden loss of interest from companies after meetings.

Whether or not each case actually involved bias, the possibility has furnished an additional agonizing layer of second-guessing for many as their job searches have dragged on.

“It does weigh on you in the search because you’re wondering, how much is race playing a factor in whether I’m even getting a first call, or whether I’m even getting an in-person interview once they hear my voice and they know I’m probably African-American?” said Terelle Hairston, 25, a graduate of Yale University who has been looking for work since the summer while also trying to get a marketing consulting start-up off the ground. “You even worry that the hiring manager may not be as interested in diversity as the H.R. manager or upper management.”

Mr. Williams recently applied to a Dallas money management firm that had posted a position with top business schools. The hiring manager had seemed ecstatic to hear from him, telling him they had trouble getting people from prestigious business schools to move to the area. Mr. Williams had left New York and moved back in with his parents in Dallas to save money.

But when Mr. Williams later met two men from the firm for lunch, he said they appeared stunned when he strolled up to introduce himself.

“Their eyes kind of hit the ceiling a bit,” he said. “It was kind of quiet for about 45 seconds.”

The company’s interest in him quickly cooled, setting off the inevitable questions in his mind.

Discrimination in many cases may not even be intentional, some job seekers pointed out, but simply a matter of people gravitating toward similar people, casting about for the right “cultural fit,” a buzzword often heard in corporate circles.

There is also the matter of how many jobs, especially higher-level ones, are never even posted and depend on word-of-mouth and informal networks, in many cases leaving blacks at a disadvantage. A recent study published in the academic journal Social Problems found that white males receive substantially more job leads for high-level supervisory positions than women and members of minorities.

Many interviewed, however, wrestled with “pulling the race card,” groping between their cynicism and desire to avoid the stigma that blacks are too quick to claim victimhood. After all, many had gone to good schools and had accomplished résumés. Some had grown up in well-to-do settings, with parents who had raised them never to doubt how high they could climb. Moreover, there is President Obama, perhaps the ultimate embodiment of that belief.

Certainly, they conceded, there are times when their race can be beneficial, particularly with companies that have diversity programs. But many said they sensed that such opportunities had been cut back over the years and even more during the downturn. Others speculated there was now more of a tendency to deem diversity unnecessary after Mr. Obama’s triumph.

In fact, whether Mr. Obama’s election has been good or bad for their job prospects is hotly debated. Several interviewed went so far as to say that they believed there was only so much progress that many in the country could take, and that there was now a backlash against blacks.

“There is resentment toward his presidency among some because of his race,” said Edward Verner, a Morehouse alumnus from New Jersey who was laid off as a regional sales manager and has been able to find only part-time work. “This has affected well-educated, African-American job seekers.”

It is difficult to overstate the degree that they say race permeates nearly every aspect of their job searches, from how early they show up to interviews to the kinds of anecdotes they try to come up with.

“You want to be a nonthreatening, professional black guy,” said Winston Bell, 40, of Cleveland, who has been looking for a job in business development.

He drew an analogy to several prominent black sports broadcasters. “You don’t want to be Stephen A. Smith. You want to be Bryant Gumbel. You don’t even want to be Stuart Scott. You don’t want to be, ‘Booyah.’ ”

Nearly all said they agonized over job applications that asked them whether they would like to identify their race. Most said they usually did not.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Food 4 Less' Response

I wonder how many of you will take the time to write Food 4 Less and express your concern. If you don't, it wil happen over and over again.


Dear Ms. Jones:

Thank you for contacting Food 4 Less! I do apologize for the situation you encountered at your local Food 4 Less. I will certainly forward your comments over to the appropriate parties for review.

Again, thank you for contacting Food 4 Less!

Amy Rinner
Consumer Affairs

Friday, December 04, 2009

Where were the Greens?

For those people who don't understand the EE that the Andersons are advocating, this is another classic example of how we as black people allow our needs to be put into the hands of others. Unlike every other group, which works to ensure that the needs of that group are met, when it comes to black people, we are always expected to go along with whatever garbage is thrown our way. The Greens issue is a part of a larger issue of those who serve the black community doing so with disdain. There is a reason we eat chitterlings. That is what the slave masters thought of us. Feed us the bowels that the PIG excremented out of. Yes black people,we were told to literally eat shit. And to now adays believe that every other ethnic group will serve you better is the epitome of stupidity.


It was 5 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving when I went to the Food 4 Less at North and Cicero avenues. The parking lot was full and I could tell a lot of the people shopping had just gotten paid. They looked tired and haggard and many appeared grateful that a store was available right in the midst of their community where they could purchase all the trimmings they needed to go with their Thanksgiving dinner.

Well, let me amend that statement. "All the trimmings" is an overstatement. Why? Because the main item most every black person asked for when they went into the produce department was missing from the shelves. There wasn't even an empty bin in the middle of the produce section to indicate that the item had at one time been in stock and was now sold out. Nor was there a single sign posted alerting harried shoppers that one of the main Thanksgiving staples they wanted to have on their table for dinner was now sold out. So many had to spend their limited time looking around the produce section trying to find someone to answer the never-ending question: "Where are the Greens?"

Yes, it's true. In a neighborhood that is 90-percent African-American, not a single fresh collard, mustard, or turnip green was to be found in the store. Now if the West Side and the Austin community were full of grocery stores, then, yes, I can accept that an item might be sold out. But Food 4 Less is the only game in town. To have a staple item, which is a main side dish of the black community's Thanksgiving table, completely absent from the shelves sends a message. For me, that message is: What this community eats is not a priority on the produce manager's list.

Guess what other item also was not available? Yup, along with the missing-in-action greens, not a single green pepper could be found - another staple ingredient in many of the side dishes that people prepare to go along with their roasted, fried or smoked turkey. As I scratched my head in wonderment, I noticed tons of other vegetables available, but not the ones black folks wanted.

One only has to go back in time to when Pete's Produce occupied the corner of North and Central avenues. This time of year, the bins would be filled to the ceiling with every type of greens - collard, mustard, turnip, slick mustard, kale and spinach. The produce workers would layer ice between the greens to keep them fresh, and the greens would be replenished as fast as they were plucked out of the bins and stuffed into plastic bags.

My favorite greens to cook are collard, and I know that to feed a family of three, I have to buy, at minimum, nine bunches of greens. For people cooking for large groups of family and friends, the amount of greens consumed is humongous. So I found it very "interesting" that a much larger grocer like Food 4 Less found it impossible to keep up with the demand - unless there wasn't any interest in doing so.

When I asked the guys working the produce department where the greens were, I was given the excuse that they had ordered 100 cases and only 10 came in. But seeing that greens are something that one can cook a day in advance and they taste even better a day later, that answer wasn't acceptable. It sounded to me like the produce manager made a poor decision about the amount of greens the store would need to meet the demands of this community. Plus, the store was scheduled to be open on Thanksgiving Day. I know many people who, even if they eat at other people's houses, still tend to cook their dinner at home up to a day later.

I went home and sent Food 4 Less a complaint via e-mail. I let them know my displeasure at going to their store and watching while my community reacted to not being able to find something that should have been stocked to the ceiling. I would encourage others who also encountered the same scenario to let Food 4 Less know that the situation is unacceptable. Until we express our dissatisfaction via the proper channels, this won't be the last time situations like this happen. And until we begin to open up stores of our own and patronize them, this community will forever be at the mercy of those who don't care.

Pay attention, Austin. Pay attention!

4-year-old survives being hit by train

Of course this 30-yr-old mother who was allowing 4-yr-old twins to be monitored by ther 13-yr-old should first be visted by the DCFS to see what the mom was doing. Oh wait, the mom is one of those 16 yr-olds who got pregnant before getting a high school diploma and wanted to grow up with her child and now when God has let her child live, she's looking into suing?

By Megan Matteucci

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

9:02 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 2009

Doctors call this 4-year-old Atlanta boy Superman.

He either has to be made of steel or truly is blessed to have survived getting hit by a train, doctors told the boy’s mom.

Elijah Anderson was playing outside his northwest Atlanta home on Nov. 5 when his dog Poochy ran off.

Elijah chased after the Jack Russell Terrier as it ran behind his Lamar Avenue home toward the train tracks on Wilson Boulevard.

Like most 4-year-olds, the boy was more focused on the dog than his surroundings and didn’t see the train coming, his mom Shantinerri Anderson said.

The conductor of the CSX train told police he saw the boy, but couldn’t stop the train in time. The 5,229-foot long train was travelling west at about 30 mph when it struck Elijah, throwing him from the tracks, police said.

“He couldn’t even cry because it hurt so bad,” his mom told the AJC on Thursday. “His eyes were closed and he couldn’t move.”

Poochy was not hurt.

Paramedics rushed Elijah to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in critical condition. He was treated for a concussion and received several stitches in his head, according to an Atlanta Police report.

Within 24 hours, his condition was upgraded to good, police said.

And two days later, Elijah was back home, begging his mom to let him go outside with Poochy, Anderson said.

Elijah’s 13-year-old sister was babysitting the twins when the accident occurred, according to the police report.

“It was numerous things going through my head,” Anderson said. “His [twin] sister was more scared than he was. She wouldn’t move. She was very frightened.”

On Thursday, Elijah and his twin sister, Eliesha, ran around, yelling about Sponge Bob.

“He’s able to run and play,” his mom said. “He’s being a normal child now.”

The only sign of the accident is a large scar on his forehead.

Police said CSX was not at fault and did not file any charges.

It takes a mile for the average freight train traveling 55 mph to stop, according to Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit that promotes train safety.

“There was no way they could have stopped for that little boy,” said Jennie Glasgow, the Georgia coordinator for Operation Lifesaver. “People don’t have the right of way on the tracks. They are breaking the law and risking their lives.”

Despite investigators’ findings, Anderson said she plans to file a lawsuit. She and her attorney, Fred Lerner, declined to discuss the suit.

“There’s no fence and I’m very scared about that,” she said. “I want them to put up a fence and I want them to apologize.”

CSX spokesman Gary Sease said he could not comment on the fence because of the threat of litigation, but said that most railroads don’t install fences.

“We have 21,000 miles of track in 23 states. It’s not practical to fence all of it,” he told the AJC on Thursday. “We’re just so thrilled the little boy was not seriously injured.”

Elijah and Eliesha are no longer allowed outside without mom. Anderson said she tries to take the children to nearby Anderson Park more, but mostly the twins stay inside.

“He can play, but he can’t hit his head,” the 30-year-old mother said.

Last year, 452 pedestrians died after being hit by trains. Georgia ranked tenth in the U.S. for the highest number of pedestrian fatalities by train with 15 deaths, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. Another eight pedestrians were injured in 2008 after being struck by a train.

On Thursday, Anderson was preparing to take the twins Christmas shopping.

“I’m so blessed. He’s so blessed,” the mom said. “We have all the presents we need.”

Find this article at:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Anderson family - John, Maggie and daughters Cara and Cori - are "shopping black" for 2009.
FILE 2009/Staff

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Empowerment Experiment' is about self-help

Arlene Jones

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have a different criterion for buying what I need vs. buying what I want. When I buy what I need, I go out of my way to try to find something that was made in America - especially when it comes to houseware items for the kitchen and bath.

If the American economy is to remain strong, we have to support the remaining manufacturers in this country. I have found Pyrex products, Sterlite Plastics containers and rugs for the bathroom that are still made here. I found an entire Web site devoted to products made in this country, and I'm linking to it at my blog. Is there anyone in this country who can be mad at me for making that decision? Most likely no.

I thought about that last week Wednesday, I had the pleasure of being invited by the Kellogg Business School's Black Alumni Association to a reception they held for John and Maggie Anderson. To refresh your memory, they are the Oak Park couple who announced about a year ago that they would only buy from black businesses for one year. And just like I go out of my way to buy products made in America, they were going out of their way to spend their money with black businesses. How could anyone have a problem with that? But guess what? Some people did.

The Andersons have been continuously dogged out by some because of their decision. I am amazed at whites who holler and call their Empowerment Experiment (EE) racist. Every ethnic group in this country has made their community a success by pooling their resources, supporting each other and building wealth by shopping and networking amongst themselves. Yet when blacks espouse the same, it is somehow reverse racism. Why?

It wasn't long ago that the constant retort a lot of black people got from whites was about "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." Those whites would smugly recount how their immigrant ancestors had come to this country with nothing, didn't know the language and, one generation later, were successful. Well, I too can recall the days of thriving black businesses that could rival any other. I look back a generation and see a once-vibrant black economic force of Johnson Products, Soft-Sheen hair care, R.L. Dukes' Oldsmobile dealership, etc. ... all gone. I never saw the Cortez Peters Business School when it was on West Madison, but as a child I was so proud that a black man could type 225 words per minute.

Now within this same community, we have children growing up and during their entire childhood, they have never seen a business owned by a black person. Something is very wrong with that picture.

All the social programs and all the rhetoric in the world cannot save the black community until we save ourselves. And the first life-rope we need is to support the quality black-owned businesses that are in existence. It is an absolute disgrace that we can have a mega-church taking up an entire block and not have a grocery store on its first floor. It is a sin to spend the amount of money we do on hair care, yet almost every beauty supply store is owned by people who don't have black hair. It is the epitome of stupidity to listen while some blacks proudly say they won't patronize black-owned businesses while never asking themselves what if their employer looked at them and felt the same way.

Someone wrote on my blog that they feel offended by any sign that says "black owned." Well, I wonder if they feel as offended seeing the flag of Mexico on every Mexican restaurant or Chinese characters on every Chinese restaurant or the Italian flag on pizza places. I'll answer the question and say no. Those groups open up businesses in every community and never once are they concerned that their ventures won't be patronized by everyone in the area. Most whites shop with other whites because they own the businesses in their neighborhood. What the Andersons are doing with their EE is to get black people to do the same.

For the past four years, I have been doing my own version of the EE on a much smaller scale. I decided I would find a black manufactured product and support it over any other. My choice, Nubian Heritage Black Seed Soap. The product is 100% natural, smells good, leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and is my small way of ensuring they get my money before anyone else does.

So to those who criticize what the Andersons are doing with their EE, if blacks don't support blacks businesses, who else will?

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Kellogg Black Alumni Honor The Andersons

The Andersons are the couple out of Oak Park who chose to "buy black only" for one year. That year is coming to an end and I was invited to hear their story as the Black Alumni from Kellogg honored them.

Mrs. Anderson is a dynamic speaker and should she decide to run for office (take heed Danny K Davis, Don Harmon, LaShawn Ford and Earlean Collins) you all would loose big time!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Am I the Only One Bothered By This

Now this is just pure speculation on my part, but I find it very interesting that the CPD would begin to track a cell phone signal. Besides the spot where Michael Scott died, it is also the location of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.

What if someone were to be on a rendeveouz with their "significant" other and in less than 8 hours of being "out of touch" the CPD starts a search for you?

There are still parts to this puzzel that needs to be addressed.

Black Folks Need To Stop Being In Denial

I went to bed around 5 a.m. Monday morning. For some reason I woke up an hour and a half later to turn on the radio and hear the sad news regarding the death of Michael Scott. It was shocking to hear not only that he was dead, but that it appeared to be a suicide.

Many of the people I spoke with were in disbelief and I can understand. No one wants to believe that someone as successful as Scott would kill himself when we have hundreds of folks who have so much less in terms of finances and opportunities who don't despair.

While I am not going to jump on the bandwagon and agree with the Medical Examiner that Scott's death was the result of a suicide, neither will I won't jump on the "black folks don't do that" bandwagon. Everyone wants people to behave in a textbook manner when it comes to situations that we don't fully comprehend. We want suicide notes, depressed behaviors and warning signs of impending doom. But if you follow the news like I do, then the black community has graduated from the "black folks don't do that" school of thought into the master's degree program of the "I'm no longer shocked that black folks are doing that" university.

Take, for example, serial killers. For years the FBI profile on them would be a white male, middle age, loner, etc. committing such crimes. Consider the D.C. sniper. Everybody was looking for a white man until John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were finally caught. Because they didn't fit the profile of someone who would probably be responsible, they were overlooked and their rampage continued.

What about the case of Anthony Sowell? After police went to his house to arrest him on rape charges, they found the decomposing bodies of three women. Further investigation revealed a total of 11 bodies in the home in various states of decomposition. And, yeah, Sowell is black.

How about the thought that only white people are "trailer park trash"? Well we do, too. I don't know how many of you have followed the story of Shaniya Davis. The 5-year-old girl was alleged to have been sold by her mother into sexual slavery. Her mother, Antoinette Davis called police and told them her daughter was missing from the trailer park where they lived. But the mother's story didn't hold water when surveillance footage from a hotel 35 miles away showed the little girl being carried into an elevator by Mario Andrette McNeill at the time the mother claimed the child was taken. Sadly, this little girl's dead body was found in a wooded area, her pregnant mother implicated in the crime.

In all the stories I mentioned, everyone who can't make sense out of them profess their disbelief. No one wanted to believe the D.C. snipers could have turned out to be black men. No one wanted to believe that Sowell, who lived in the neighborhood and was known to sit on his front stoop with a beer in his hand greeting his neighbors, was a serial killer. No one wants to believe that a mother can sell her daughter for sex and that the child predator who took the child would be a black man wearing dreadlocks.

Wake up, Black Folks! It's a slippery slope we tread when we so quickly put our minds forcefully into "denial mode." That is the same logic Gregory Brooks Sr. used in defending his son, Gregory Brooks Jr., who today stands accused in the murder of the McClendons.

And that is the same logic being used with regard to Michael Scott's death.

I have walked past the spot where Scott's body was found a number of times, around 2 or 3 a.m. when my old job called me in due to problems with the computer system. Not once in 15 years did I fear being by myself so late at night. Of course I was cautious, but I never saw the spot as dark and isolated. The railroad bridge where Scott's body was found faces two huge apartment buildings, as well as a smaller group of condominiums whose backside are composed of floor-to-ceiling window areas.

Like everyone else, I want more investigation into what happened and all security tapes reviewed. That area is also the location where the Dave Matthews Band bus spewed a load of sewage into the Chicago River splattering people in a tour boat below. That bus was captured on the video camera on the southwest side of the East Bank Club and was eventually used to implicate the bus driver.

We should be demanding that all security tapes from the surrounding area be reviewed to shed light on Scott's death.

Black people are no longer insulated from any mayhem that is committed in this country. And I can understand when people are skeptical. Just don't be in complete denial.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Father Kills Son -

There are so many ways to view this. But I am none too pleased with the mother for having kids by different men. The age differences is startling. And son confesses he needs help and the man who made him kills him, but where was he for the raising?


Dad arraigned in son's killing; mom says she sought help for teen


Jamar Pinkney Sr. stood stoically in a Highland Park courtroom today, silent as a judge ordered him back to jail without bond, accused of shooting his 15-year-old son in the head execution-style.

With waist-long dreadlocks, the postal carrier didn't flinch as his son's great-aunt wailed and had to be led from 30th District Court.

"This is the most horrible thing that's ever happened to him," Pinkney Sr.'s lawyer, Corbett O'Meara, said after the hearing, not addressing whether Pinkney feels any remorse about Monday's shooting. Pinkney Sr.'s preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 1 in 30th District Court in Highland Park.

"He's calm," O'Meara added. "He appears to understand what's going on."

Investigators say Pinkney was reacting with rage when he stripped his son naked, marched him outside the home of the boy's mother and executed him Monday afternoon.

Lazette Cherry, Jamar Jr.'s mother, said she wanted to get her 15-year-old son help when he came to her and said he had acted inappropriately with his 3-year-old half-sister.

There wasn’t a rape, Cherry said her son told her. But he confessed to his mother that he knew lying on top of the baby was wrong, she said.

So she called her son's father and told him what she believed happened in his home on Newport on Detroit’s east side.

“I called and told his father this isn’t something you sweep under the rug,” the devastated mother said today.

His father showed up at the house Monday afternoon with a gun, she said.

“He started beating him right here,” Cherry said from her living room. “I said, ‘No, please stop!’ ”

But the father marched Jamar Jr., a sophomore at Martin Luther King High School, outside.

“He got on his knees and begged, ‘No, Daddy! No!’ and he pulled the trigger,” she said. “There wasn’t nothing that my son wouldn’t do for his father. He loved his father so much."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Pinkney Sr. with first-degree murder, punishable by up to life in prison. He's also been charged with three counts of felonious assault for pointing the gun at Cherry and two other people at her home before the shooting.

"No individual has the right to exact the death penalty on another no matter how reprehensible the behavior -- that is why we have laws," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said today in a statement announcing the charges.

“I hope he rots in jail,” Cherry said of the man she met while they worked at the post office. “He did not deserve that,” she said of her son.

As white teddy bears with red silk hearts bearing the words "I love you" sit on the grass next to her home where her son died, candle wrappers from a vigil held Tuesday night scattered around, Cherry still can't believe what happened.

"There's no justification for what he did, you know, downright shoot your child," she said, wondering aloud about her ex. "He didn't rape her or anything. So why did you have to come and take matters into your hands? We said we were going to get him help."

A fund has been set up to help the family with burial expenses for Jamar Jr. Donations can be made at the Charter One Bank branch in Highland Park.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Death of Michael Scott

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that Micheal Scott had died. I had been working on trying to get an appointment with him and now that seems so irrelevant. My condolences to his family.

But I'd like to remind you all of something. Several years back when the Dave Matthews Band bus dumped their sludge into the Chicago River, it was as the bus was heading westbound on Kenzie and the camera on the East Bank Club captured the image of the bus.

There is a camera on the southwest side of the building that points out towards Kenzie because of the stairs leading down to the Chicago River. Hopefully that camera plus the one on the storage facility and the cameras on the Apparel Center will shed some more light on what happened.

I have been in that area that time of the night/morning because when my job had problems and I had to work late, I would have to walk past late at night. Even with all the development in the area, it still is a pretty deserted location at night. But at the same time, there are tons of cameras in the area. The Apparel Center guard station has lots of cameras monitoring the site and the dock area too.

I wonder if Michael drowned or was he shot? The river at that point is not that deep. Lots of rocks that built up so that the water is only a couple of feet shallow at that point.



Cops: Preliminary investigation indicates Scott shot himself
November 16, 2009 9:53 AM

A preliminary investigation indicates Michael Scott, president of the Chicago Board of Education, apparently shot himself in the head along the banks of the Chicago River early this morning, sources say.

Scott's family had reported him missing on Sunday. Police used his cell phone to locate his body and his car behind the Chicago Apparel Center at 350 N. Orleans along the north branch of the river, police sources tell the Chicago Tribune.

He apparently fell forward after shooting himself, and the gun was found near the body, the sources say.

While police sources say it appears the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, the Cook County medical examiner's office was still conducting its investigation and hadn't determined how he died.

Scott's family had contacted police Sunday night when he didn't show up after visiting his sister at a South Loop care facility. The relative said he visited his sister regularly on Sundays and described him as a creature of habit. He was last seen about 6 p.m.

Around 3:15 a.m. today, police found Scott's blue Cadillac parked next to a trash bin yards away from where he was discovered along the river, police say. The car was winched onto a tow truck about 6:30 a.m.

Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart said in a statement that Scott recently told her he didn't think he'd be around much longer as board president, and that he viewed his appointment as being an interim one.

Stewart said she last spoke with Scott on Saturday regarding the upcoming school board agenda.

"I found Michael to be someone who worked with the union in a cooperative manner and who was willing to hear the other side of any issue," said Stewart. "I believe he was dedicated to doing what was best for the children in Chicago Public Schools and his death leaves a huge void to fill at a time when the Board desperately needs stability in its leadership."

Tariq Butt, a Chicago school board member who has known Scott for about 20 years, said he was shocked by the news.

"He's been a giant of Chicago civic life for many many years," said Butt. "It is very tragic news."

Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived at the scene about 7:25 a.m.

"I am stunned beyond disbelief," said Jackson, who said that he and Scott go back at least 25 years and praised Scott as a decent man and an excellent negotiator and problem-solver who got along with everyone. "What a Monday morning to wake up to."

"The suddenness of it ... midday has become midnight," he said later. "The sun has been eclipsed."

Scott had been board president for five years until July 2006, when then-board member Rufus Williams was appointed at his recommendation. His reappointment in February came about a month after Ron Huberman replaced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, now the U.S. education secretary.

Scott served in public posts under Mayors Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Daley, who also has appointed him Park District board president and a member on the boards of the RTA and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.

Representatives of the Chicago Board of Education have not been available for comment so far this morning.

-- Pat Curry, Andrew Wang, Azam Ahmed, and Mark LeBien

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Would Happen In a Case like this Under HEALTH CARE REFORM?

London, England (CNN) -- A severely ill toddler at the center of a legal battle between his parents has died days after his father agreed to switch off his ventilator.

The 13-month-old boy, known as Baby RB, suffered from congenital myasthenic syndrome, a rare genetic condition that means he cannot breathe on his own.

Cristopher Cuddihee, a solicitor who represents the father, confirmed the baby's death early Sunday but did not provide any more details.

The baby's father had been battling his mother and the hospital in London's High Court because they wanted the child's life support switched off "in his best interests." He disagreed, saying the baby could play and recognize his parents. The father withdrew his objection Tuesday and allowed the ventilator to be switched off.

The hospital defended its stance in a statement last week, saying the baby's birth defect "causes severe muscle weakness, feeding and respiratory problems, and the disease is progressive."

Baby RB's lungs filled with fluid every few hours, giving him the sensation he is choking and causing the child to suffer, lawyers representing the hospital said in court November 2.

Ultimately, the father agreed with the mother and the hospital that the best thing was for the baby to die "in a planned way, with the administration of a large dose of sedative, the removal of the ventilation tube and his consequent death," Judge Andrew McFarlane said Tuesday.

The baby's parents, who are separated, cannot be named because of a court order protecting their privacy.

Geez, This Makes Our City Murder Rate Look Great!

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Authorities say a 7-year-old boy, three women and a university professor are among 15 people who were killed in a single day in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez.

State prosecutor's spokesman Arturo Sandoval says the child was traveling with his father in a pickup truck when gunmen opened fire Friday, killing them both.

Sandoval says three women were shot to death in two separate incidents. A university professor was killed in a residential area.

Sandoval says that nine other men were killed in six separate incidents.

The metropolis across the border from El Paso, is Mexico's deadliest city, with more than 1,700 killings so far this year.

Trailer Trash Mom Charged

Mother of missing 5-year-old NC girl charged
1 hr 29 mins ago

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The location and fate of a 5-year-old girl reported missing by her mother was unknown even after authorities charged the mother with human trafficking and other offenses.

Antoinette Nicole Davis, the mother of Shaniya (Shuh-nigh-uh) Davis, faces a child abuse charge involving prostitution as well as filing a false police report, according to a Saturday news release from the Fayetteville Police Department.

The child hasn't been seen since Tuesday, when surveillance footage recorded the man charged with kidnapping Shaniya carrying her into a hotel room.

The release did not say whether the charges were related to her daughter's disappearance, but The Fayetteville Observer reported that arrest records indicated they were.

According to arrest documents cited by the newspaper, Davis "knowingly provide(d) Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and she "permit(ted) an act of prostitution."

Telephone messages and an e-mail left for police were not returned.

Shaniya had only been living with her mother since last month. Davis reported the girl missing Tuesday morning from a mobile home community in Fayetteville, and authorities began searching nearby wooded areas. The following day a man described as Davis' boyfriend was charged in the kidnapping, but the charges were later dropped and he was released.

Police then said a hotel worked spotted a child matching Shaniya's description at a Sanford hotel about 40 miles from Fayetteville on Tuesday. Authorities reviewed surveillance video and, after speaking with family members, confirmed the child's identity.

Surveillance footage showed Mario Andrette McNeill carrying Shaniya into a hotel room, and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping Friday.

Authorities have said McNeill admitted to taking the girl, though his attorney says he will plead not guilty to the charge. They have not said if McNeill and Davis knew each other.

An official at the Cumberland County Detention Center said Davis was still being booked and it was unclear whether she had an attorney. Her first court appearance would likely be Monday.

Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart, told The Associated Press he raised his daughter for several years but last month decided to let her stay with her mother. He said Davis struggled financially over the years, but she recently obtained a job and her own place, so Lockhart decided to give her a chance to raise their daughter.

"I should've never let her go over there," he said Saturday night.

Lockhart said police have not told him whether they are any closer to finding his daughter.

"I just want her to come back safe my friend," he said. "I love her very much and I hope she is OK."

He described his relationship with Davis as a "one-night stand" and said he and Davis never argued about him raising Shaniya.

"Shaniya is a precious young lady and she is special," Lockhart said.

Lockhart said he did not know McNeill.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dead Presidents Will Influence My Vote

Well, the filing period is over and as soon as the candidates get through challenging each other, we will know who's on the ballot for this coming February 2010 primary election.

Most politicians know the average person is too busy just trying to keep his or her head above water to pay attention to what they've been up to or even pay attention at all. So in a few short weeks, our mailboxes, front doors and telephones will be filled with pictures of their smiling faces and blurbs about what they've done and what they promise they will do.

But as it comes time for them to ask for your vote - or in some cases just assume they'll get it - I hope you look at your wallet and, noticing the lack of dead presidents looking back at you, begin to demand more than lip service from those who want to represent you in office.

I've been paying lots of attention to taxes lately. I'm taxed to the hilt on my phone bill. I'm taxed on my cellphone bill. My property tax bill came in and again, all the taxing bodies want more and more money to provide less and less.

I, for one, am sick of it. I want politicians to address the serious issues going on and not the ones they like to use to keep you from asking the hard questions.

The first hard question you should ask every politician is, "How are you going to pay for it?"

For example, I had to renew my license plates last month. Even when I was employed full time, paying $78 for a little sticker seemed a ridiculous amount of money. But in today's economy, where every dime matters more than ever, what the heck is the state government doing with $78 for every car registered in Illinois? To top it off, I had to pay an extra dollar for some new equipment. Give me a break! You mean out of the $78 I paid in 2008, the state couldn't budget a $1 savings per car to pay for their own damn equipment?

As voters, we all manage household budgets. I know someone who doesn't work, is probably on public assistance and manages to function. She dresses nicely by buying all her clothes from the second-hand store, uses relatives and friends to get her hair done and does without a lot because she can't afford it. Well here's something our current and wanna-be elected officials need to hear shouted as loudly as one can: "If the average citizen can do with less, so can the bloated budgets of all these state, county and city agencies!"

How many LIHEAP offices should there be in a single neighborhood? If you can walk out one office and go two blocks down the street to another office, your tax dollars are being wasted. If you have 10 social service agencies in a neighborhood all duplicating and triplicating the exact same services, it's not about those agencies doing anything to solve the social ills in our community, but rather it's about people who suck off the breast of the state budget to get grants to do what nobody ever asked them to do.

These folks decide they want to provide a service and then run to the state to fund it. And state officials pass the money out like it was theirs to give. If the state has to fund the basic operation of your budget, how will the lights stay on and the gas bill get paid? And if we continue to have agencies that are little more than personal fiefdoms so people can claim to be the "executive director" of this or that, is it truly what we want for our community?

Look at our business district. Where is the major shopping district for the West Side? Not an individual store like Wal-Mart or a small shopping plaza like Washington Square. I'm talking about a major district filled with stores galore. It used to be Madison and Pulaski, but go over there now and it is a mere shadow of what it used to be.

Lastly, Mayor Daley seems to be acquiescing to the idea of a casino for Chicago, and I am still advocating that if it comes, the old Brach site on Cicero would make an excellent location for it - near public transportation, the Metra and just blocks from the Eisenhower Expressway, as well as halfway between O'Hare and Midway airports, it can become the anchor of an entertainment/shopping district that could revitalize our economy.

Pay attention, Chicagoans, and come February 2010, give your vote to the person who will bring dead presidents to your wallet, not take them out.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Danny Davis Press Conference Tomorrow

Who will withdraw? I am going out on a limb and because of rumors I've heard...I am going to predict that Danny will continue to run for board president.

Update: 11/09/10 @ 7:45AM

Because of Quinn's signing the veto bill that will allow the County Board to override Stroger, and Danny K Davis being a 'LOYAL DEMOCRACT', I'm changing my position. Danny will NOT RUN FOR COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT. He will not take on the label of spoiler. Plus after watching his reaction to the men from the Juvenile Detention Center's issues, his reaction wasn't one I would expect of someone who wanted to take over the County Board.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

4th individual charged in Darrion Albert Murder Case
Praise and criticism in Fenger brawl case
Police superintendent thanks witnesses against teen charged in beating, says they should have stepped up sooner
By Kristen Mack and Serena Maria Daniels

Tribune reporters

November 7, 2009

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis praised witnesses who identified a 14-year-old boy as taking part in the infamous fatal beating of a Fenger High School student but at the same time chastised them for taking too long to come forward.

The teen was charged with murder after four eyewitnesses to the Sept. 24 melee said he hit Derrion Albert, 16, with a "roundhouse punch," Cook County prosecutors said.

Eugene Bailey, 18, originally was charged with throwing that punch, but murder charges against him were dropped three weeks later.

"We started getting reports that (Bailey) was not involved in it," Weis said Friday at a news conference announcing the charges against the 14-year-old. " ...We had numerous witnesses come forward that not only exonerated (Bailey) but also led us to be able to charge (the juvenile)."

Clearly frustrated at what he called a "code of silence," Weis thanked the community for coming forward but quickly added: "I do wish they would have come forward sooner, but at the end of the day, justice will be served."

Albert was attempting to stand up after he was struck with a wooden plank by another youth when the 14-year-old punched Albert "in the face, knocking him to the ground and knocking him unconscious for a brief period of time," Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Bilyk said in Juvenile Court.

Albert was not exhibiting "any acts of aggression when the minor took a long-wielding punch," Bilyk said. "He gave no care or concern to the life (he was) snuffing out."

The boy was ordered held in custody on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of mob action by Juvenile Court Judge Colleen Sheehan.

The boy, who is not being identified by the Tribune because he is a minor, has no previous criminal history, prosecutors said. His mother took notes as the prosecutor laid out the charges, and his family and attorney declined to talk after the hearing.

Though police continue to look for three suspects, Weis said that the 14-year-old's arrest means "the main offenders who struck the critical blows to Derrion Albert are now awaiting trial."

Silvonus Shannon, 19; Eugene Riley, 18; and Eric Carson, 16; were charged as adults and have been held without bail in Cook County Jail since September.

Prosecutors have not determined whether they will charge the juvenile as an adult, Bilyk said. They can use their discretion when deciding whether to charge 13- or 14-year-olds as adults.

The boy, who was a student at Fenger at the time of the beating, has been attending Thornridge High School in Dolton since the brawl, his attorney Richard Kloak said. Kloak asked that the juvenile be released on electronic monitoring so he can stay in school.

"The defendant is not running anywhere or going anywhere," Kloak said.

The melee, which involved more than 50 teenagers, stemmed from a long-standing rivalry between Fenger students who live in an area known as "the Ville" near the school in Roseland and those who are bused in from the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex.

Fighting broke out as the Altgeld students walked to a bus stop near a Far South Side community center about half a mile away from Fenger.

Video footage of Albert's beating circulated over the Web and transfixed viewers nationwide. The images also horrified Chicagoans, many of whom had become numb to the high rate of teen carnage.

Albert's death prompted the White House to dispatch U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Chicago to talk about youth violence.

Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner contributed to this report.


In raising my children, I haven't often had to live up to what I promised them I wouldn't do should they find themselves in police custody because of their negative behavior. My children always knew that I had taught them to think. Therefore they were also aware that they couldn't call the house and tell me they were in police custody because "they didn't think stealing from the store would get them in jail; or that hitting someone upside the head and killing them would get them in jail." So its quite sickening to read the above story and see that the mama is sitting in court taking notes after taking her child out of Fenger and hiding him in the public school system out in Dalton.

Every taxpaying resident of Dalton should be insulted that their community became the public hideout for the "accused" murderer. Rather than take her son to the police and turn him in, she took him to another black community where he could have done the same to another child. Sick. Had she spend the time talking to her son about the consequences of his actions from the time he could walk and talk, then she wouldn't now be furiously taking notes to prevent the KILLER from going to jail for the rest of his life. There are some mistakes where the costs has to be weighed prior to the actions being taken. Her son could have went home. OR ASKED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO DALTON BECAUSE FENGER WAS TOO NEGATIVE OF AN ENVIRONMENT FOR HIM. No type of pro-action was taken. Rather the mother took "reactionary" actions. And where is DADDY??????

Women need to take and make better decisions regarding the men they opt to have children with. And if you make a poor decision like I did in choosing the sperm donor, then raise your children so damn good that you never have to be the only one in court taking notes.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I wonder if Ike was taking Bribes Even Back Then?

It pays to pay attention!
$100,000 bribe offer to Chicago alderman alleged
Businessman wanted Ald. Isaac Carothers to help him open restaurants at O'Hare and Midway, feds say
By Todd Lighty, Hal Dardick and Jeff Coen

Tribune reporters

November 6, 2009

A businessman offered a $100,000 bribe to an alderman he thought could help him open seven restaurants in Chicago's two airports, according to federal charges unsealed Thursday.

But the businessman did not know that the powerful alderman, Isaac "Ike" Carothers, had been cooperating for months in an undercover FBI sting, a source familiar with the investigation said.

Carothers wore a hidden microphone and a video camera to secretly capture his meetings with businessman Wafeek "Wally" Aiyash.

Authorities, referring to Carothers in court papers only as "Cooperating Witness," said the alderman began helping them in 2008 in hopes of winning a reduced sentence for his own crimes. Charges against Carothers for allegedly taking bribes from a developer were made public earlier this year.

According to Thursday's charges, Aiyash promised during a series of meetings between May and September 2008 that he would give cash to Carothers if the alderman helped him obtain a piece of the lucrative restaurant business at O'Hare International and Midway airports. Carothers is a member of the City Council's Aviation Committee, whose duties include approving contracts at the airports.

Their conversations were often cryptic and involved scribbling notes on pieces of paper to communicate the alleged bribe, according to court records.

In one meeting, Aiyash allegedly promised Carothers $10,000 upfront with the remaining money later. Records show that Aiyash wrote down the word "cash" on the back of one of Carothers' business cards and allegedly said, "That's the only way I'll do it."

Authorities arrested Aiyash on Thursday at his Naperville home on charges that he delivered two bribes totaling $9,000 in 2008 and offered the rest of the money to Carothers if the contracts came through. He was later released.

Aiyash, 50, owns numerous properties in the Chicago area, including a Grandma Sally's restaurant.

Aiyash's lawyer declined to comment on the bribery charge.

Federal authorities have long had an interest in pay-to-play allegations at Chicago's two airports. Sources familiar with the matter said agents continue to investigate how contracts were awarded at O'Hare, but it appears that the Aiyash case is not part of that larger, ongoing investigation.

Carothers, the 29th Ward alderman and a longtime ally of Mayor Richard Daley's, could not be reached Thursday for comment, but it was revealed shortly after his arrest in May that he had cooperated with the FBI in corruption investigations.

Carothers, who continues working as an alderman, was charged with accepting $40,000 in gifts, including White Sox baseball tickets, for supporting a zoning change in 2006 that cleared the way for a residential and commercial project in his ward.

Court records in that case show Carothers cooperated against the developer, Calvin Boender, and that he has secretly taped other public officials. Boender has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Like Boender, Aiyash donated to Carothers' political campaigns and did business in his West Side ward.

Thursday's charges allege that Aiyash had a corrupt relationship with Carothers before the alderman began cooperating with federal authorities.

Carothers told federal authorities that in 2007 Aiyash allegedly had given him $40,000 to $50,000 in cash in exchange for the alderman's "assistance in obtaining the requisite approvals to develop certain property" owned by Aiyash.

According to public records, Carothers rents space for his district offices from one of Aiyash's companies, WJ Madison Plaza.

In 2005 the city sold vacant property in the 5200 block of West Madison Street in Carothers' ward to WJ Madison for $1, as the city sometimes does to spur development in blighted areas. The city valued the property at $376,000. WJ Madison paid $730,000 that same year to buy nearby property on the same block.

In the end, Aiyash and his partners spent about $4 million to develop more than half the block, according to city documents. "It cost us a fortune," said John Bozonelos, an Aiyash partner.

Bozonelos said he and Aiyash met about 15 years ago through their wives and eventually went into the business together. He said he was stunned by the bribery charge.

"You could have no better person as a friend," Bozonelos said. "I'm flabbergasted. I could not believe it. I don't think Wally has any intention to bribe someone."




Restaurant to be built on vacant Austin lot

By Jeanette Almada
Special to the Tribune
Published April 3, 2005

City officials will sell vacant city-owned land to a retail developer who will build a long-sought full-service restaurant in the Austin neighborhood.

Chicago-based W.J. Management Inc., which consists of Wally Aiyash and John Bozonelos, will build the restaurant as part of a larger commercial/retail project at 3223-41 W. Madison St., according to Marty McCarthy, a Chicago Department of Planning and Development project manager who won the approval to sell the two city-owned parcels from the Community Development Commission in early March. The developer, who privately has acquired land adjacent to the 39,000-square-foot city land, will pay $1 for the city-owned land that is appraised for $376,000, McCarthy told commissioners.

The project concludes the city's lengthy search for a restaurant developer to build on the corner of Madison and Laramie Avenue, according to Ald. Isaac Caruthers (29th), who told commissioners that the full-service restaurant will help the surrounding neighborhood.

A restaurant developer had been sought for the location since the city acquired the lots in 1995, McCarthy told commissioners. "Unfortunately we had no responses. ... Although we have a couple of wonderful restaurants in Austin, we really need a full-service, sitdown restaurant," Caruthers told commissioners.

A residential and commercial developer, W.J. Management has rehabbed buildings in Austin and other city neighborhoods and suburbs.

W.J. President Wally Aiyash cited the company's rehabbing success and increasing Austin property values in its decision to build the restaurant, a Grandma Sally's Pancake House.

The plaza will consist of two buildings. Both buildings are designed by FHS Architecture.
Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Can Facebook Help Drop The Murder Rate?

Six degrees of separation is defined as the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called "Chains."

Although the theory hasn't been proven to be an absolute fact worldwide, Facebook (FB), which I joined just a couple of months ago is proving the theory to be the truth - at least when it comes to black America. How? By linking to my friends' friends, they are all quickly becoming my friends. And as they become my friends, I am being exposed to lots of their friends and relatives, both near and far. I thought about that the other day when I saw a small blurb that had gone out over the newswire. FB will now keep the profiles of deceased members of the social networking site available online. Their pages will clearly be marked as being a memorial to them and viewable only by family and friends.

If you're not familiar with FB, let me tell you how it works. Once you join and get your personal page, the site will automatically begin to recommend others to become your friends. Or you can use your e-mail list to search out friends and relatives already signed up for the site. As you are linked to those individuals, they all become a part of your social networking group. FB also asks you to recommend friends who are not already a part of the site to join in; thus ensuring that the social circle is never ending. In a nutshell, it's like having your next door neighbor introduce you to their friends and relatives on the next block and those folks then introduce you to their friends and relatives who live blocks away and then those folks introduce you to their friends and relatives all across the country. And on and on.

What I like best is when FB recommends people to become my new friend. That person usually has at least one other person in common with me. Sometimes the person we have in common is still someone I really don't know but a friend of someone I do know. Even more astonishing is when FB recommends someone to be my friend and tells me that the new person and I have over 100 friends in common even though I have never met that person in my entire life.

FB also has us mentally bound together as we check out the information people post to the site about themselves. If one person has good news, we can all bask in their happiness. If a member of our circle says someone in their family is ill, we can all post messages of encouragement. If there is bereavement, we can all offer our condolences.

It was during one of those sessions of offering condolences to a McClendon family member that a thought occurred to me. If FB can have me meeting and knowing hundreds and hundreds of people via other people, surely some of the people I am meeting have friends and relatives already incarcerated. And as our world becomes an even smaller place, I wondered if we could send out a "six degrees of separation" message in advance to warn those hoodlums who kill in our community that one of the first people to meet and greet them in prison will be, unbeknownst to them, a relative or friend of the person they killed?

Think about it. The hoodlums who create the mayhem in our community don't fear going to jail. "Three hots and a cot" has always been the trademark response when we have tried to lecture them about their wayward ways. They are members of a street gang and going to prison means that they will have their "homies" to hang with.

Prior to FB, one would need to plot out an entire family tree to show how interconnected many of us are. With FB, it's just a click of the mouse away to learn that the person killed is not just "Pookie from the corner," but someone's baby's mama's cousin's daddy's uncle's brother's son. Maybe the only option we have left is to send a blunt message in a way that some of our future killers can easily comprehend. When you kill, understand that awaiting your arrival in prison will be someone who is related to or knows the victim. And the greeting that they will have for you won't be the soul brother handshake or a pat on the back.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Saudi Court Supports Cruxificatin of Child Rapist

Public Executions. I bet it helps to keep the crime rate low. 40 so far this year? Still better than the number we have on death row in this country.


RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi court of cassation upheld a ruling to behead and crucify a 22-year-old man convicted of raping five children and leaving one of them to die in the desert, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

The convict was arrested earlier this year after a seven-year old boy helped police in their investigation. The child left in the desert after the rape was three years old, Okaz newspaper said.

International rights groups have accused the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, of applying draconian justice, beheading murderers, rapists and drug traffickers in public. So far this year about 40 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia.

In Saudi Arabia, crucifixion means tying the body of the convict to wooden beams to be displayed to the public after beheading.

(Reporting by Souhail Karam; editing by Inal Ersan)

Monday, November 02, 2009


I am asking for your help to make this book a bestseller. I have books for sale and will personally autograph a copy. Please give a call at 773.622.3863. Thank you.

Also visit Sankofa Cultural Center at 5820 W. Chicago Ave. They have the book for sale and the books are autographed.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Successful Charter School - And there's a REASON WHY!

I hate new reports like this. All the accolades given to everyone but the main reason why the student is successful is glossed over. After watching, see if your response is the same as mine. Mine will be in the comment section.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Parents of Greg Brooks Speak Out

Link to video

So they didn't raise a monster? I suggest they take a few minutes and check out their little darling's MySpace page. After I counted over one hundred photos just on the main page of his gang signs picture, I think they need a reality check! They are in denial - big time. Their son is a thug. A gangsta. A hoodlum!

How can those parents admit their child was involved but didn't do any shooting???? Therein lies the problem. According to the report, they were only able to speak with their son for a few minutes, so how do they know???? The Brooks seem like nice people, but that MySpace page says there a lot of work that they should immediatlely begin putting into their two remaining sons that won't be spending 130 years in jail.

I'm in sync with Theodore McClendon. Greg Brooks had a lot of love, but no upbringing!

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.

Greetings Ms. Jones,

In the past 6 months, over 2.5 million African Americans have watched a highly controversial free 15 minute film over the internet.

On 10/14/09 Michael Baisden ( syndicated top radio host) urged his 10 million to watch this " must see film!"

On 5/22/09 the Rev. Marcia Dyson ( wife of noted author Michael Eric Dyson) stated on a CNN interview that this video "must be watched".

On 3/3/09 The Mayor of Birmingham decided to make 500 copies to strategically place throughout the city.

Dr. Calvin Snyder (Editor of the AME Christian Recorder) suggested that all AME churches use the film within their communities to motivate our lost youth.

The film is titled "A War For Your Soul".

**Please note, the film is not for sale and I am not accepting donations for it.

The film is being shown on over 700 African American websites and has now reached Ghana, U.K., Israel and many Caribbean Islands. "A WAR FOR YOUR SOUL" was originally targeted towards at-risk African American youth, but the film has struck a nerve within the African American community, leaving the viewer asking "What can I do to help my community ?".

Please take a few minutes to watch this free life changing film. The film can be seen at the following website:

Peace & Blessings
Reggie Bullock ( producer of "A WAR FOR YOUR SOUL")

Don't Accept Excuses For Bad Parenting

Until we deal with the source of the problem, we will continue to have the problem. And right now, standing front and center and always in our face is the day-after-day news reports about young people being involved in heinous crimes. In Chicago, we are experiencing what is becoming a murder-a-day phenomenon by young black teens. But if you read 20-30 papers like I do every day, the problem is not just among black teenagers, although they represent a disproportionate number.

In Florida, a young 15-year-old white kid stops some boys he knows from stealing his father's custom-designed bicycle. He is lured to a meeting and doused with gasoline and set on fire. He is burned over 65 percent of his body. The situation would have been much worse had the young boy not jumped into a pool of water. His attackers were two blacks, two white brothers and a Hispanic.

In Los Angeles, a young 15-year-old girl leaves a homecoming dance. She is waiting for her father to pick her up from the dance but also goes into an alley with a boy she knows. She is gang raped for at least two hours while others stood around and either participated or just watched. DNA evidence shows there were at least four attackers. So far the police have arrested a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old Hispanic male.

The sickness permeating our society doesn't just stop with teenagers. In Detroit, a 35-year-old "mother" gives her 15-year-old son a gun so he can shoot and kill another boy. Both mother and son are now under arrest and charged with murder. And to learn that the parents of Garrard McClendon were slaughtered by suspects, ages 17 and 18, is appalling.

I won't go on and on, but the new stories I related show that, as a country, we have some serious problems. And the problem is an American problem. That is why I highlighted several different news stories involving a criminal element from various backgrounds.

The problems we're having are now two and three generations deep. As I think back to the foolish girls (now grandmothers) who had children while in their teens, they have raised the idiots (the current parent generation) who are now the parents of the morons (our teen killers and thugs). Given the news report that we have 115 girls at Robeson High School pregnant or with children already, will that next generation become known as the imbecilic one?

Yes, I am taking a tough stand and using some unkind words. This isn't simply about name calling. Rather, it is an attempt to put an easy-to-understand label on a problem that isn't as easy to solve. We cannot put back all the demons this society has let out when we chose to allow the Pandora's Box of bad behaviors, poor judgments, lack of personal responsibility, social acceptance of unacceptable behaviors and constant excuses to escape.

We cannot return what we have allowed out of the box. What we can do is attempt to control, tame and modify those things. And it can start with everyone in this society no longer accepting from parents the excuses they make when they aren't doing their job.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dumb and Dumber In Jail

Yep. They were forced to do the perk walk. I watched and looked for every news film and picture I could find. Why? Because after all their boasts and posts on their MySpace pages, I am sure they would step out of the car looking proud of what they had done. Reo page is full of profanity and laced with commentaries on his pictures about how he doesn't take shit. Well he is soon going to find out that shit may be an everyday common phenomenon when the Big Willie in jail makes him his bitch.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Other Half of Dumb and Dumber - Greg Brooks

Dumb and Dumber

And in his own words from his MySpace page:
check it out my name on the verge of going to college... ima cool dude once you get to know me... i like kickin it with different types of people... i do what ever i like ,when i like ... i took my first breath in the world August 25th,1991... yeah thats right im a nineties baby... the main people i kick it with is verchon, smick, vernon, and my nigga remy these my niggas/family...these my ride or die niggas cuz we do get down out here....i was born and raised in inglewood/southside of the city... im in love with the game basketball this is a big part of my life... i live, eat, sleep, and breath basketball....i rest my head in hammond,indiana.............

Reo Thompson - Accused Murder - The Dumb

Before Myspace takes it down, here's the link to the wayward youth accused of killing the McClendons.

And in his own words:



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two Boys, Two Sets of Lost Dreams

This is the tale of two sets of teenage boys. Both sets of boys had dreams. One set of boys dreams never came to fruition. The other set of boys lived their dreams.

The first set of boys starred in the 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams. It was screened last Friday night at the Better Boys Foundation in honor of the 15th anniversary of the film's release. If you've forgotten about that documentary, let me refresh your memory. Hoop Dreams followed the high school lives of William Gates and Arthur Agee, from their freshman year at St. Joseph High School in Westchester through the start of their college years. The film covered their matriculation through high school in their quest to one day become NBA superstars.

This was the second time I had seen the film. The documentary is still powerful in how it shows how elusive their dreams were. In retrospect, there were tons of warning signs in their lives. As each boy struggled to navigate between the roughness of their home neighborhoods and the stringent academic environment of their predominately-white, middle class high school, a recipe for failure was brewing. Both boys lacked a strong support system at home to assist them in their academic, emotional and financial needs. Other incidences that played into their inability to break out of their circumstances included William injuring his knee; meanwhile, Arthur's family struggled financially as his father lost a number of jobs. His dad later started using illegal drugs.

So, it was a pleasure and a joy to see that since the film's release in 1994, both Arthur and William were in attendance at the screening to speak to us. Their personal hoop dream was a failure, but they were amongst us, still living and breathing.

That led me to think of the other set of boys who had been living their dreams. Tyrone Williams, 19, and Percy Day, 17, were two cousins whose names don't readily and easily roll off the lips of many people. They weren't famous to anyone outside of their immediate families. Tyrone attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. Percy was enrolled in a special program that allowed him to get his associate degree through DeVry University while still in high school. They were good kids who respected others. They worked hard and were both happily in pursuit of their educational dreams. But on the evening of Sept. 25, 2009, someone walked up to them as they sat on Percy's grandmother's front porch and sprayed the house with bullets. Both Tyrone and Percy were executed. Their tragic deaths became a side note to that weekend's violence because so much media emphasis was on the taped beating death of Derrion Albert the day before.

Whoever sprayed the 3700 block of West Polk with bullets that Friday night shortly after 9 p.m. didn't care who was hit. Bullets flew so wildly that an elderly woman sitting in an apartment across the street was hit in the shoulder by one. Even worst; another elderly next door neighbor who helped raise the two young men suffered a massive heart attack after learning they had been killed. She died the following morning.

The family of Tyrone and Percy was left to ask the question: why? Why did someone shoot and kill them? Why did the front porch of the family home have to become the blood-stained, eternal memorial to their slaughter? Why can't their murder be solved the same as it has been for Derrion Albert? Why can't they get the same type of press and response from the community as did Natasha Howliet - the young mother shot and killed at a West Side bus stop two weeks ago? Many in the community gave information to the police, helping to identify the two persons charged in her death. Can we get some similar people to come forward and tell the police who's responsible for killing Tyrone and Percy?

If burying a single member of a family is tragic, imagine the pain of having to hold two funerals at the same time and on the same day for the senseless murders.

We as a community, and as a society, need to take a stand against all the negative forces preventing our young people from attaining their dreams. Those forces are the ones that continue to wreck havoc in our neighborhoods. And far too often, they are the criminal members of our own families. We tolerate them, ignore them and, at times, encourage them to continue to do what they do.

So here's the same advice to you that my mother gave to all her children - participate in criminal activity and she would always know where to find us on visiting day.

And we will continue to talk about these murders every Sunday night on WRLL 1450 AM radio from 10 p.m. until midnight on the Garfield Majors Show until their killers are found.